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Biography of John Wilson

John Wilson. Indelibly interwoven with the early and later history of Leavenworth and one of the great industrial captains of his day, was the late John Wilson, one of the solid men of this city for many years. His life story is interesting from every point of view, not alone because of the great business enterprises he fostered and founded, but also for achievements in other fields where his personality counted and where the life he lived so closely touched others that his memory will long be kept green. Mr. Wilson became a permanent resident and property owner in 1857 and for very nearly fifty years was identified with the progress and development of Leavenworth. John Wilson was born at Oxford, Chester County, Pennsylvania, October 9, 1828. His parents, James and Rebecca (Whiteside) Wilson, were of Scotch-Irish descent. The father was a man of considerable consequence in Chester County, serving for twenty-five years as a magistrate and was an elder in the Presbyterian Church. He served as a sergeant in the company of Captain Holmes in the War of 1812. He and his wife were intelligent practical people and their son John profited by their openmindedness for he was given educational advantages such as many youths of the time and neighborhood did not enjoy. After attending the common schools he was employed for a time as a clerk in a store, performing his duties very willingly, for already he had the business instinct that later was a dominating factor in commercial life. He then spent two years in an academy at New London Chester County, after which he resumed...

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